February 20, 2013
‘Sunset Boulevard’s origins in an Evelyn Waugh novel have been forgotten’
Seeing a revival screening of Sunset Boulevard at Glendale’s Alex Theatre, a 1925 silent-movie palace suitable for Norma Desmond herself, reminded me of how much Wilder’s 1950 showbiz horror-comedy is an inversion of Waugh’s 1948 satire on Hollywood and Forest Lawn, The Loved One.
The imprint of Waugh’s macabre tale on Wilder’s dark comedy is unmistakable, even though Wilder and his colleagues reversed many elements. The transpositions that make Sunset Boulevard the more enduring work illuminate some insights into audience appeal.